Huawei’s efforts to mitigate the damage caused by its US blacklisting have taken a major step forward with the production of 5G base stations void of American technology.
Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce effectively blacklisted the Huawei on national security grounds, preventing US-based firms from doing business with the Chinese mobile giant.
The ruling has impacted both Huawei’s smartphone and networking divisions, while the US is urging its allies to ban the company from participating in the rollout of 5G. Huawei has denied any allegations of wrongdoing, while the US has not provided any evidence to support its claims.
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Huawei 5G base station
There is little support among European mobile operators for a ban on Huawei kit, which is often cheaper and more innovative than the competition. Meanwhile, the cost of stripping out Huawei equipment could run into the billions.
Huawei says the performance of base stations without US technology is “no worse” and that the only surprises have been “positive”. Company founder Ren Zhengfei reportedly said he would like to continue to use US components if possible because of the firm’s long-standing relationship with some suppliers.
However it is covering all bases. Mass production should start next month, with annual production set to rise from 600,000 this year to 1.5 million in 2020 as operators around the world continue their 5G deployments.
Earlier this month, Ren said Huawei would consider selling its 5G technology to a US-based company in a bid to circumvent the current ban. Such a transaction would include patents, technology and expertise.
However Ren has now said the firm would consider a licensing deal and that he was not concerned about the impact of competitors getting their hands on its technology.